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  1. #1
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    Perspective, Freedom, Reality?

    Perspective.


    How amazing are fireworks? It seems, every year, that the moment they hit on the 4th of July, my body tingles, my senses heighten, and it makes me feel like a kid again. The nostalgia, to me, is probably like coke to Ric Flair.


    And how do you feel about Disney World? I wouldn’t know, or at least, I don’t remember personally, but many kids go once and remember it fondly for most of their lives- even long after the color of youth has faded to the dull grays that are adulthood.


    Or the heaps of gray that is Parenthood. I know I’ll bring my boys to visit Mickey and pals within the next few years, though all parents I know have said it is not so magical between the bills, stress, and kid drama that such an experience brings. They love it cause their kids do, but most would never go again. Which is why the odds are in favor that whoever is reading this only went once as a kid. Yep, while you were having the time of your life, your parents were mostly miserable.


    And despite the contrast of an experience’s value dependant on age, the moment that unites both young and old in jubilation at Disney World, is the fireworks. A larger than life display, with dizzying colors, shapes, and sounds that overwhelm your senses. Though within that same crowd, merely feet away, are attendants, young and old, who are absolutely sick to death of the display. Or neighbors of the venue who have to get used to civil war levels of noise outside their doorstep on a daily basis. The fireworks aren’t so magical for them.


    Perspective. Changes. Everything.


    There is a very good chance I’ll be going to next year’s Wrestlemania. It would be my first Wrestlemania. And even living in the US, I don’t get a chance to go see live shows often at all, especially since kids came into play. They are way too young for that sort of violence, and my girlfriend laughs at the thought of pro wrestling, so any show would feel a little momentous at this point in my life, but it being the biggest pro wrestling show yearly, I get jitters just thinking about it.


    Like a kid would. Like my nephews and niece do. Which are the reasons we are planning to go. They still see the magic in pro wrestling, so that night is like the wrestling holy grail. Though what do you think Vince McMahon thinks of Wrestlemania? Do you think he feels that excitement like we do, or is he more worried about things going off without a hitch so that he can make as much money off of it as possible? I think we all know that answer.


    Do you think Undertaker gets anxious and awestruck coming out to wrestle at Wrestlemania for the seemingly billionth time? As anxious as Ronda Roussey will be this coming April? As anxious as the 10 year old in the audience who thinks Taker is the absolute epitome of cool? One hundred thousand people in the building, and yet many of them will remember the exact same event much differently. Perspective is a truly amazing thing in context, the deeper you explore it.


    It can be so powerful that it shapes the material world you live in. To most of us on this site, even the most jaded, Wrestlemania still has a value to us that is undeniable. And yet, most people our own age mock the exact same event, or sport- to the point where we tend to keep our fandom private, to avoid the typical bullshit we tend to encounter when the topic is brought up.


    They ask us, “Is this real?” To which we respond…. How do you respond to that? We find ourselves defensive. We find ourselves reeling, struggling to find a sell. Why? Why do we want, or need to sell this to them, if it truly matters to us? Why does their perspective need to synch up to our own?


    Monday nights at work RAW is usually on TV when I start my shift. Props to whomever the cool kid is on 2nd shift. One of my colleagues on 3rd asked me the dreaded question a few weeks ago. Consider that I can be sarcastic on a level of grand asshole at times. Especially if I think a question is tremendously stupid. Your teacher was wrong, yes, there are stupid questions. And I’m Cosmo Kramer’s uninhibited view of the world- I often don’t see the need to sell generalities in order to conform to humanity.


    Part of me wants to ask him back, “Are you asking me if what you are seeing is really happening, or just a figment of your own imagination?” Followed up with a, “Are you schizophrenic?” I have to play nice at work though. I have to at least appear like a “normally” functioning adult. So out loud I tell him that although it is a very physical sport, to the point that many have died from it, it is scripted. He does the typical, critical toned “hmm” response, and I act busy so he’ll fuck off.


    At that point, we’ve chosen sides. He, the ‘professional wrestling is fake/silly’ side, me, the ‘scripted doesn’t equal fake, there is an inherent artistry/extreme degree of difficulty in what they do, stop being an overly critical douche’ side.


    They don’t like what we like. We find value in something they don’t. And even among us wrestling fans, we have opposing perspectives on many different things. Music, movies, entertainment, other hobbies, art, philosophy, religion, or lack thereof, food, sexual preferences, political views, right down to font. Hell, even different wrestlers.


    Different people, had different genetics, have different life experiences, have different views of the world around us from one another. And yet, we find the need to defend, argue, or try to convince other humans of things that we feel. Like when we get asked if pro wrestling is fake. Or like most people when politics are brought up these days.


    You groaned just reading that word. You’re in luck- I’m not going there. You’re free of that shit here. And isn’t freedom an interesting thing?




    But freedom is a perspective.




    If someone from 1776 suddenly stumbled through a wormhole, and found themselves in 2018, what would they think? If they were a woman, would they feel oppressed? If they were black, or Muslim, or identified as a different gender, or were gay or lesbian, would this societal/world climate feel hostile to them? If they were a wrestler, would they feel exposed to unsafe or unfair working conditions?


    So why do so many feel that way today, in arguably the most peaceful time in human history? Maybe because freedom is a perspective, and it is evolving. Maybe also because we lose touch with true reality without the wisdom behind another person’s perspective? If we traveled back in time, would we wish we were back in 2018?


    And maybe some women would feel safer back then. Maybe some minorities, and people with varying preferences would be revered in the right society, regardless of year. Maybe some wrestlers would feel better wrestling at carnivals, or travelling through territories all those years ago.


    Maybe some prisoners feel safer in jail. Perspective is the damndest thing. You can categorize, generalize, turn the masses into numbers on a spreadsheet in a database to calculate averages. And you still won’t find all the answers. Hell, only you know your true self. Everyone else sees you from a different perspective. Everyone else sees you as someone entirely different from how you see yourself.


    Maybe Dolph Ziggler has anxiety about his appearance? Maybe Alexa Bliss struggles with weight issues? Maybe Big E suffers from depression? Maybe as we worshipped them, in those exact moments, they were living in their own private hell? Or they were creating hell for others? Maybe you have your shit together more than the people you idolize? After all, we are all human.


    And yet, we’ll spend our lives reflecting on a wrestler’s body of work in a brief period of their own lives. Many of those people are long moved on, or dead, and yet we perseverate. It was just a job for some of them, but so much more to us- even still, so many years later. Maybe the magical night you went to a wrestling show all those years ago was merely another night on the job for the wrestlers you remember it for? And maybe what we view as just a job, is so much more to someone else?




    Perspective




    So as the 4th of July winds down, and the fireworks have stopped- the smoke is clearing, and many crawl into bed, with ears still ringing from the noise, as we reflect on what freedom means to us, and we think about how different some view their own freedom, we can see how intricately woven the world around us is. How vast the ocean of perspective is.


    We all bleed. We all cry, we all struggle. We love, and we all have things we are grateful for. Maybe that is what brings such value to fireworks on the 4th of July? To reflect on those things, on a day carved out by ancestors many years ago to ensure just this. Maybe there is some value in some people in the very same crowd hating the very same fireworks that dance in your head as you close your eyes. A value that the world isn’t just how we personally perceive it, and that we are in this together, regardless of our differences- and despite our differences. Despite our perspectives, and because of our perspectives.


    We need each other. Irregardless of age, color/race, gender, sexual preference/orientation, side of the religious or political spheres, or which federation, stable, or wrestlers/people we idolize. We are all humans trying to work through the same maze.


    And maybe if freedom means enough to us to celebrate it today, then we should unshackle the world around us from our me-centric perspective, and let freedom ring true for all?


    And it should stretch beyond a day. Maybe this message is worth thinking about tomorrow, and the tomorrows that come after it? At least a pause in our individual judgements based on our own individual perspectives. A voice inside to remind us that at one point, we were all just babies being rocked to sleep by young, unsure and tired parent(s) after fireworks scared us so much all those years ago- even Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Roman Reigns.


    Many years ago this night was met with blood, and a violent fight. And every year since the fighting continues- right alongside the fireworks. Reality is a combination of what we all perceive. It doesn’t end with us, that is only where it begins.


  2. #2
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Kleck you always have something great to say, I really enjoy your perspective on things.

    To start with I laughed out loud when you recounted getting asked 'the question'. My response is generally to lean into the silliness and craziness of wrestling and take it in a self deprecating way, if I'm feeling a little more serious I just say that it is a tv show with live stunts, however I'd be lying if I didn't admit that part of me wants to throw them off a ladder and ask them how fake they think wrestling is now.

    I feel like a problem with perspective in our society is that so many people only ever want to see one, only want one perspective to be true and will only tolerate one perspective on things. Their own or small variations of that.

    I'm fortunate enough to live in a place where I can say that kind of thing and not face any problems. It isn't American but it is a country with a shared culture and a lot of shared history so every July 4 I still can't help but be happy.

  3. #3
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    I'm guessing they'd come here, be blown away by how good we all have it, then be shocked that prople buy in to the bullshit social justice narratives that keep a so-called oppression-power dynamic as the only perspective to be had. Or they might wonder why people have been trapped in collectivist groupthink, when so much of past thinking started with the individual. A lot of people are breaking free of that narrative, even now, though it's hard to tell here.

    But that's just one perspective.

    I love how introspective this is. I love that it questions itself. I love how July 4th becomes a framework for so much more.

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    Perspective is indeed a powerful thing. It is good think on how many things have been improved in society over the course of history. But flip the perspective, and someone coming back to us in time from 30, 50, 100 years might be shocked at things which seem normal to us, just as we would likely feel the same if we went back the same distance. There's still so much we can do, but there's a lot we've already done.

    I've definitely come to accept that those who don't "get" wrestling will never share my reality, and I never really try to convince anyone. I don't tend to talk about it with those I'm not comfortable with, and one the rare occasion it comes up I just tell them it's something I like, and it's as "fake" as any other show on TV.

    Interesting piece here, I like how you've dug deerp into something philosophical. Something a little different. Great to see you drop something Kleck, always dig it.

  5. #5
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    Sam- Im often silly with my responses too, but at work, and feeling the way I was in the moment, I wasnt having it lol. I had to play nice, but in my mind I might have 3Ded him through a flaming table. You are right about people not being open any more. It is sad to see so many close minded people these days. Most in my own country. Perspective often takes black and white and makes it gray.


    Shane- the herd mentality is unreal. Media is our shephard. It rounds us up, divides us, and culls us. We play right along, never questioning motives, or sources. We choose parties and most of us dont know what either stands for. We choose religions, or dont, yet dont know why either way. We just follow the herds. Follow popular sentiment to battle. Blindly.

    I've been deeply introspective lately. The world around me, paired with my age is painting the landscape all kinds of strange colors.



    Mizfan- beautiful point on people from the future coming back to now. I'd love to know what they thought, though wouldnt that itself create a paradox? Just like people from the past coming back. I think a lot of people would do well to take these moments though to connect to history through living sources. Ask grandparents, parents, neighbors, relatives what the world was like. I have some stories from my grandparents lives that I may use in a column soon. Seeing the world through their eyes really shows me its (De)evolution, and how different in so many regards the world is now.



    Thanks all! About to drop a new column, but still very much encourage discussion on this if you want!


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